Big Finish Productions
are to release a new set of audio adventures featuring some iconic characters from the days of UNIT.
When Tim Treloar
and Katy Manning
return as the Third Doctor and Jo Grant in The Third Doctor Adventures Volume Five
, they’ll be joining forces with three other characters from 1970s Doctor Who, The Brigadier, Benton and Liz Shaw.
In this new audio box set, made in association with BBC Studios, Jon Culshaw
will take on the role of UNIT commanding officer Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, a character appearing under licence from the Haisman Literary Estate
After an extensive casting process, senior producer David Richardson
and executive producer Nick Briggs
finally remembered a conversation they’d had with Jon, when he told them the thing he’d most like to do for Big Finish would be to play the Brigadier. Briggs explains.
After checking his rendition of the character in the BBC Audiobook of The Five Doctors, we just gave him the job!. ‘It was a very tricky thing casting someone to do justice to Nicholas Courtney’s brilliant, original performance. Jon has done this with honour and love for what the splendid Mr Courtney did all those years ago.
The Haisman Estate told us about bringing back the Brigadier for the Third Doctor Adventures
We thrilled at the choice Big Finish have made. We've always admired Culshaw's voice work, and in particular enjoyed his rendition of the Brigadier in The Five Doctors audiobook. We look forward to hearing the Brigadier returning to Big Finish in such a substantial way!
Returning alongside the Brigadier is Liz Shaw, the first companion of the Third Doctor. She will be portrayed by Daisy Ashford
, the daughter of the original Liz Shaw actress, Caroline John
(who played the role on TV and returned to the role for several Companion Chronicles at Big Finish).
Plus, returning to play Sergeant Benton is John Levene
. John first played the part of Benton (who was then a corporal) in the Second Doctor TV adventure The Invasion. He returned to become a regular with Third Doctor Jon Pertwee (also appearing with later with Tom Baker), and has previously reprised Benton twice for Big Finish. Tim Treloar
, who has portrayed the Third Doctor on audio since 2015, has been at the forefront of a new era of 70s audio Who treats. David Richardson
, producer of The Third Doctor Adventures said
It’s been so rewarding to see how Doctor Who fans have embraced these new Third Doctor stories. We knew Tim’s performance (and it is a performance, not a mere impersonation) as the Third Doctor was extraordinary – and it’s clear that listeners feel the same way too.” The two adventures in The Third Doctor Adventures Volume Five will require the Third Doctor, all his companions AND the full might of UNIT to save planet Earth.
In the first story, Primords (from the Doctor Who TV story Inferno) interrupt the Doctor and Liz Shaw’s reunion, and become one of the fiercest tests of UNIT and the Doctor to date. And in the second, 'ghostly' adventure, the population of a village are apparently being spirited away in the oddest of manners. Katy Manning
(who plays Jo Grant) told what it was like to bring back these beloved characters
It was a joy working with Jon Culshaw, and working with Tim has been so much fun, watching him become the Doctor more and more. But Jon came in and in an instant (and I won’t tell him how!) caught the Brigadier immediately! Daisy Ashford
says of coming to the Big Finish fold to play Liz Shaw:
I’m really excited and honoured to have been asked to play Liz, and to step into my Mum’s brilliant shoes!
Doctor Who: The Third Doctor Adventures Volume Five will be released in May 2019
, available for pre-order now at £25 on CD and £20 on download.